Stereotypical Native American images ruin this otherwise pleasant adaptation; should the developer take advantage of the...

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THE THREE BEARS AND GOLDILOCKS

The infamous golden-haired mischief-maker is dressed up as a Native American in an appalling miscalculation that makes this potentially charming storybook app utterly missable.

Modern adaptations of classic folk tales abound in the App Store, since the stories are so well-known and still strike a common chord (and don’t entail pesky copyright problems). This interpretation starts out by casting Goldilocks as a young, generic (except for the blonde curls) Native American girl in a dreadful use of stereotypical images that adds nothing to the story. A totem pole, tepees, fringed skirt and braided hair are all mixed in with desert cacti in a bizarre mashup that disregards any cultural relevance or specificity. Were it not for this fatal flaw, the app might be a winner. The bears are recast from the traditional family roles as Mr. White, Mr. Black and Mr. Brown, sporting, respectively, a red bow tie, a meerschaum pipe and a monocle. When the bears politely confront her, the young troublemaker sees nightmarish versions of reality. They sing; she hears vicious roaring. They offer her more soup; she is convinced that they want to cook her alive! Goldilocks runs home, leaving the bears staring in surprise, “What an impolite creature.” The text and narration are available in eight languages, and the interface works smoothly. Background music and forest noises add nicely to the overall tone.

Stereotypical Native American images ruin this otherwise pleasant adaptation; should the developer take advantage of the flexibility of the medium to correct them, it will be a keeper. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Blue Quoll

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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ROOM ON THE BROOM

Each time the witch loses something in the windy weather, she and her cat are introduced to a new friend who loves flying on her broom. The fluid rhyming and smooth rhythm work together with one repetitive plot element focusing young attention spans until the plot quickens. (“Is there room on the broom for a blank such as me?”) When the witch’s broom breaks, she is thrown in to danger and the plot flies to the finish. Her friends—cat, dog, frog, and bird—are not likely to scare the dragon who plans on eating the witch, but together they form a formidable, gooey, scary-sounding monster. The use of full-page or even page-and-a-half spreads for many of the illustrations will ensure its successful use in story times as well as individual readings. The wart-nosed witch and her passengers make magic that is sure to please. Effective use of brilliant colors set against well-conceived backgrounds detail the story without need for text—but with it, the story—and the broom—take off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8037-2557-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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